Denmark’s Genmab prepares for $500m US IPO

Antibody-based drugs firm Genmab, noted for developing the blood cancer drug Darzalex with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit, is preparing for a $500 million US IPO.

The Danish firm has filed documents with the US financial regulator, kicking off the process to begin the US stock market launch.

Already listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock market, the company is raising money as it shifts its focus towards launching its own products, as well as building on existing collaborations with Janssen and Novartis.

If the IPO goes ahead it will be one of the largest this year, which got off to a slow start because the US government shutdown stymied the operations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), preventing any US launches from starting until February.

Aside from Darzalex (daratumumab), which is approved in multiple myeloma and in development in other indications, Genmab has also developed Arzerra (ofatumumab) with Novartis for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

But Genmab’s ambitions stretch beyond these two products – in its document filed with the SEC the company said its pipeline includes five proprietary product candidates in clinical development.

The company also has 20 drug candidates in pre-clinical development, and the company’s goal is to retain at least 50% of product rights in the most profitable indications and geographic areas.

Its most advanced pipeline drugs include tisotumab vedotin, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) in development for cervical cancer, currently in early to mid stage development.

There is also enapotamab vedotin, an ADC targeting a tyrosine kinase receptor called AXL, which has been linked with a range of solid tumour cancers.

It also has HexaBody DR5/DR5, two non-competing antibodies designed to target two distinct epitopes on death receptor 5, or DR5, a cell surface receptor that mediates programmed cell death, in early-to-mid stage development.

Genmab also has two bispecific antibodies in its pipeline – DuoBody CD3xCD20 targets B-cell cancers, and a checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy called DuoBody-PD-L1x4-1BB, in development with BioNTech.

Going forward the company said it wants to continue collaboration with Janssen and Novartis over Darzalex and Arzerra respectively, and advanced its product pipeline.

Genmab is also looking to expand its pipeline of proprietary products, and strengthen its product portfolio with strategic collaborations, and build its marketing operation to market its own products.

Earlier this month Janssen took an option do develop a successor to Darzalex with Genmab, in multiple myeloma and other indications including lymphoma.

Genmab will collaborate exclusively with Janssen on the drug known as HexaBody-CD38, with Genmab funding research and development activities until completion of clinical proof of concept studies in multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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